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Imagining Women's Careers$
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Laurie Cohen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697199.001.0001

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The Transition from Employment to Self-Employment

The Transition from Employment to Self-Employment

Chapter:
(p.44) 4 The Transition from Employment to Self-Employment
Source:
Imagining Women's Careers
Author(s):

Laurie Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697199.003.0004

This chapter is based on interviews conducted in 1993/4 and examines women’s moves from employment to self-employment. It starts by introducing and critiquing three related dichotomies that persist in the literature on this career transition: subordination versus a bid for freedom; the logic of necessity versus the logic of autonomy; and push versus pull. It proposes a model for explaining women’s decisions to make this move that transcends some of the limitations of existing understandings. This iterative, temporal model includes three key dimensions: self-employment awareness; transition triggers, organizational and domestic; and finally modes of engagement with self-employment, conceptualized as proactive, reactive, and adaptive. Central to the analysis is a persistent, gendered ideology of the family and its implications for their positions within established organizations. An interesting question is the extent to which these accounts now feel dated, and what has changed in the interim period.

Keywords:   career transition, gender, employment, self-employment, self-employment awareness, organizational and domestic triggers, mode of engagement with self-employment

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